From Punitive to Restorative: How the Opportunity Youth Action Hui organized at the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center

The efforts of the Opportunity Youth Action Hawaiʻi stems from a long line of juvenile justice in Hawaiʻi, starting from as early as 1928. See how the justice system has evolved over time.



Hawaiʻi Youth Correctional Facility opened the Kawailoa Training School for girls and the Waialeʻe Training school for boys to detain, house, and provide workforce skills to an average of 100 juvenile offenders.
Olomana School began offering educational services to students at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF), Detention Home (DH), Home Maluhia, and Olomana Youth Center.
Office of Youth Services is established during military occupation after Pearl Harbor bombing. OYS manages HYCF.
Youth Services Continuum of Care At Risk Youth report described a range of programs and services that provide the right resources promoting healthy development of youth and ensuring the safety of the community.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs shares a study, “The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System.”
The Disportionate Minority Contact in Hawaiʻi Juvenile Justice System 2000-2010 study exposed the disproportionately high representation of youth with Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and mixed race ancestry in Hawaiʻiʻs juvenile justice system.
Hawaiʻi Juvenile Justice Working Group Report assessed the state’s juvenile justice system, analyzed policies, practices, programs, and statutes to reduce recidivism and crime.
HB2490 Act 201 passed to reduce court referrals of youth, improve probation for justice-involved youth and target community-based programs.
Hoʻopono Mamo Report: The Hawaiʻi Youth Diversion System diversion system made up of government agencies, community organizations, and families to support youth arrested for low-level offenses. Goal to divert youth, especially Native Hawaiian, from incarceration. Phase 1 occurred in the Kalihi-Moanalua area.
SB 2791 Act 208 passed to rebrand HYCF as Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center under supervision of OYS. Hawai’i moves youth toward diversion and treatment and away from punitive justice models. Community organization partners (RYSE, Kinai ʻEha, Hale Kipa, and Kupa ʻAina) established on campus provide programming to provide an ecosystem of support for Hawaiʻi’s youth.
Opportunity Youth Action Hui (OYAH) established by public and private leaders at Kawailoa campus. These partners share Native Hawaiian leadership in land and fiscal management, workforce, self-development, cultural programming, education, youth services and community networks to support ~300 opportunity youth ages 14-24.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded OYAH’s project submission, Kawailoa: A Transformative Indigenous Model to Replace Youth Incarceration, as one of ten eligible to continue forward in the Racial Equity 2030 Challenge. The project spotlighted Hawaiʻi on the map among submissions from 72 countries.
OYAH invited to join the Aspen Institute’s national Opportunity Youth Forum as a Indigenous/Tribal/Native community partner and member of a national movement.